Creativity Comes In Waves

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One thing you might notice if you pay attention to the timing of my posts is that they are all clumped together.  There will be a few weeks with nothing at all, followed by a series of posts in a very short time period.  Often more than one post on the same day.

The truth is, as a creative, I do go to work every day in other avenues.  But I don’t publish all the time.  I would say that the vast majority of my work goes into some deep, dark hole that never again sees the light of day.  And even the things that do get published aren’t necessarily examples of my best work.  It’s just that periodically I feel inspired to create.  And periodically I get inspired to share what I’m creating.

I bought one of those cool, pocket-sized Moleskine notebooks.  I wanted to have a notebook handy everywhere I went, because I felt like ideas would cascade into my mind and they’d largely be unrecorded, never addressed, and forgotten.  And yet, by the time I managed to buy the damn notebook, all those crazy ideas stopped showing up.  What the eff, right?

Creativity is 99% perspiration, as they say.  I showed up.  I bought the damn notebook.  I have it with me all the time.  Where did all those ideas go?

My best answer, at this particular stage in my creative journey: inspiration isn’t always linear like work ethic is.  Your experience might be different (and frankly, there are some very successful creatives who operate linearly), but it’s my experience that if you’re a writer for example, showing up for n amount of hours doesn’t necessarily mean you will produce x times n amount of pages.

What happens instead is you will show up to work five or six days a week, and three of the days you will be depressed and pissed off and discouraged, as you slog through shitty first drafts.  The other two or three days, you will feel divinely inspired, such that  you can’t write fast enough to capture all the brilliant thoughts rushing into your consciousness.

Some days, you will go to sleep completely stumped.  Other days, you will wake up with a solution that eluded you for weeks.

Life is like that.  You show up to play every day.  And every once in awhile you get stretches where you play like Lebron James after his headband gets knocked off in the NBA Finals.

Google it if you aren’t a basketball fan.

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